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Comment Obligatory Deus Ex (Score 1) 501

Be Safe: Be Suspicious

Terrorism has become an unfortunate fact of life not only in New York but the country at large, a direct assault on our communities and our way of life that leaves citizens struggling to find answers to difficult questions, not the least of which is "What can I do to prevent such atrocities? How can I help?"

Quite simply, terrorism is successful because terrorists are able to pass unnoticed and unremarked upon - but they fail to count on the best intelligence network ever devised: the American people. How can you tell who might be a terrorist? Look for the following characteristics:

* A stranger or foreigner.
* Argumentative, especially about politics or philosophy.
* Probing questions about your work, particularly high-tech.
* Spends a greater than average amount of time on the Net.
* Interests in chemistry, electronics, or computers.
* Large numbers of mail-order deliveries.
* Taking photographs of major landmarks.

And those are just a few. If you're suspicious, then turn them in to your local law enforcement for a thorough background check. Better safe than sorry. You and your neighbors will sleep more securely knowing that you're watching each other's back.

Comment Auntie Em! (Score 5, Funny) 333

We're off to see the wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Woz
We hear he is a whiz of a wiz, if ever a wiz there was
If ever, oh ever a wiz there was, The Wizard of Woz is one because
Because, because, because, because, because
Because of the wonderful things he does
We're off to see the wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Woz

Comment Algorithm + Safe Deposit Box (Score 1) 402

Given that your minimum requirements are 1) having different passwords for each site, and 2) changing them once a month, it's probably a good idea to have an algorithm that allows you to come up with your password. The algorithm could take the name of the company/website and the current month (or month & year....something time-related) as inputs, do "something" with them (jumble, transpose, use your Little Orphan Annie Secret Decoder Ring, etc) to get your password. You can also factor in rules for putting numbers, symbols, uppercase, etc. It just has to be consistent. Now all you have to do is protect the algorithm, not the individual passwords. The algorithm can be written down and put in a safe deposit box.

Using an algorithm can eliminate the need to write down passwords, unless your algorithm is so convoluted that you can't calculate it in your head. If you suspect that your algorithm has been compromised, just change it. Granted, websites have varying requirements (some take symbols, some don't), so it's not perfect.

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Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell